No plea deals for Colorado Springs protesters who blocked interstate traffic, prosecutor says
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (The Gazette) - Prosecutors will not offer plea bargains to more than a dozen people cited with misdemeanors after allegedly blocking traffic on Interstate 25 during a protest in June.
An El Paso County prosecutor confirmed during a brief Tuesday hearing for one of the protesters that the district attorney’s office wouldn’t consider cutting deals for lesser convictions. But she said the policy applied only to those who had blocked interstate traffic, not to people cited during the street demonstrations that erupted in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis.
“This is the offer for all of the cases dealing with the highway obstruction due to the dangerous nature of obstructing a highway,” prosecutor Natalie Lewis said.
A defense attorney said the decision was retaliation for protesters calling out “racist” policies in the local prosecutor’s office.
“I think this is coming from Dan May, and I think this is unconstitutional,” Josh Tolini said Tuesday at the hearing for his client in El Paso County Court, adding that May, the Pikes Peak region’s term-limited district attorney, was trying to “squash free speech.”
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